The Lord Silkin of Dulwich
|Shadow Attorney General|
4 May 1979 – 14 July 1979
|Preceded by||Michael Havers|
|Succeeded by||John Morris|
|Attorney General for England and Wales|
Attorney General for Northern Ireland
5 March 1974 – 4 May 1979
|Prime Minister||Harold Wilson|
|Preceded by||Peter Rawlinson|
|Succeeded by||Michael Havers|
|Member of Parliament|
15 October 1964 – 9 June 1983
|Preceded by||Robert Jenkins|
|Succeeded by||Gerald Bowden|
|Born||6 March 1918|
|Died||17 August 1988(aged 70)|
|Alma mater||Trinity Hall, Cambridge|
He was the second son of Lewis Silkin (afterwards Baron Silkin), a Labour Member of Parliament (MP) and a minister in Clement Attlee's Cabinet from 1945 to 1950. His brother, John, was also an MP and Cabinet minister.
Samuel Silkin was educated at Dulwich College and Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He played two games of first-class cricket in 1938, one each for Cambridge University Cricket Club and Glamorgan County Cricket Club.
He became a lawyer; he was called to the bar in 1941. On 18 March 1946, Silkin, with the military rank of Lieutenant Colonel, presided over the Double Tenth war crimes trials at the Supreme Court Building in Singapore. Twenty-one Japanese Kenpeitai were accused of torturing 57 internees, resulting in the deaths of 15. On 15 April 1946, after a hearing lasting 21 days, eight were sentenced to death by hanging. Three others received life imprisonment, one a sentence of fifteen years, and two were given prison terms of eight years. Seven were acquitted.
At the 1964 general election, Silkin was elected Member of Parliament for the Dulwich constituency, adjoining his father's former constituency of Peckham. He was re-elected in Dulwich until his retirement at the 1983 general election.
From 1974 to 1979, he served as Attorney General for England and Wales and Northern Ireland under Labour Prime Ministers Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. After his retirement from politics, he was created a life peer as Baron Silkin of Dulwich, of North Leigh in the County of Oxfordshire on 13 May 1985.
Silkin died in 1988, aged 70. He left, by his first wife Elaine Stamp (whom he married in 1941), two sons and two daughters. He did not have any children by his widow, Sheila Swanston, whom he married in 1985 after his first wife's death.
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Dulwich
| Attorney General for England and Wales
| Attorney General for Northern Ireland|